Yeah, it was an obnoxious stereotype — that's the genius part. Hughes could take a predictable stereotype and make it unpredictably funny. Gedde Watanabe gets a lot of credit for that one too. Brilliant. As much as I like that one, I really don't like Hughes' other famous teen movies. I think they try to mean too much.
Hughes is much better with movies that are just a few days of swirling insanity. For that reason, I'll always stop for Planes, Trains and Automobiles too. It's actually funnier when I'm watching it with my father, who laughs so hard he freaking cries. He used to be an airline pilot so I reckon it's gotta feel like Ozzy Osborne watching This is Spinal Tap. Hughes also wrote the National Lampoon Vacation movies — and those rival Betsy Ross's flag in terms of American iconography.
But before Hughes did all this, he wrote a piece for National Lampoon magazine, one I read when I was very young bastard, and even then I recognized it as a work of breathtaking genius. J.D. Salinger was lavished with praise for being an adult that could back get inside the head of a teenager. Hughes got inside the head of a teenage girl and it was as pitch perfect in its own way as The Catcher in the Rye. It's a short story called My Penis, and it's about a 16-year-old girl who wakes up one morning with...
Well, I don't want to ruin the surprise. It's totally not safe for work, but do check it out. And don't miss the companion piece, My Vagina.